James Starley-inspired mural for Pool Meadow Bus Station

Published Wednesday, 17 March 2021

A new mural, inspired by James Starley, has started to be painted onto the side of Pool Meadow, located next to Sprinkles and facing the entrance to Lady Herbert’s Garden.

James Starley mural

In April 2020, Coventry City Council, in partnership with the Coventry City of Culture Trust and Creative Giants, posted a call-out for artists who wanted to be a part of celebrating Coventry’s turn as UK City of Culture. An artist database was created and opportunities were posted for artists to share and submit their ideas for various projects around the city centre.

Angry Dan’s proposed design incorporated bright colours and featured an Ariel bicycle as a tribute to Coventry’s own James Starley, an inventor and manufacturer, widely considered to be the father of the bicycle industry. The mural will also contain a limerick, written by Angry Dan:

James Starley reveals,
His vision of life on two wheels,
The people, alike,
Can all ride a bike,
And soon we’ll be head over heels.

Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This is a really eye-catching design and it will really brighten up this corner outside Pool Meadow.

“It’s fantastic to be able to work with Angry Dan to incorporate art into this space and I’m really looking forward to seeing the mural finished.”

Angry Dan is a poet and street artist, best known for painting his limericks as colourful murals. The wall had already been painted white in preparation and the mural started to be painted on Monday 15 March.

Angry Dan said:  “The limerick was inspired by the significant social transformation brought about the bicycle. The invention gave people from all backgrounds the ability to travel miles in any direction of their choosing. Notably, the bicycle is regarded as giving women greater freedom, and so is considered by many to be a feminist icon. Hence the lines: the people, alike, can all ride a bike.”

The mural comes as part of several planned art pieces for Pool Meadow which have been funded by The West Midlands Combined Authority and delivered in partnership with Transport for West Midlands.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “In 2019, Pool Meadow was handling around 5 million passengers a year and it needed a bit of a facelift. Although the pandemic has meant many people are staying at home over the past 12 months, we hope that people will soon be able to see the difference that this work has made to make it feel truly welcoming to people visiting the city centre via bus.”

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services, said: “The bus station is already looking much better. We want to make sure its comfortable and easy to use for passengers and it gives a warm Coventry welcome to visitors to the city as well as making local people feel proud.

“The bus station will feature lots of amazing art and I am sure people will recognise some true Coventry legends. I can’t wait to see it all finished.”

Coventry City Council